Introducing Autism—some great books for siblings and others

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The following highlights some of the great children’s books—explaining Autism Spectrum Disorder—that have been published from the 1990s to recent years. Don’t be deterred by a publication date. They have stood the test of time and are still available from various sources.

The books listed can provide a positive, enjoyable way to help siblings to understand their brother or sister who has Autism. Some children with Autism are also likely to enjoy the books and view their Autism in a more positive light, through the stories.

N.B. Many of the titles refer to Asperger or Asperger’s Syndrome which, since changes to the diagnostic criteria, would now be considered “high functioning” Autism.


My Friend with Autism

 By Beverly Bishop

This engaging story celebrates the perspective and unique abilities of children with autism, offering siblings and peers concrete ways to develop connections and friendships. Created as a colouring book and with a section for adults giving more details about the issues addressed, this could be a helpful resource for parents and primary schools.

Future Horizons Inc 2002/2011 Enhanced Edition with free CD of colouring pages.


Autism Through a Sister’s Eyes

By Eve B. Band, Ph.D. and Emily Hecht

This book gives voice to 10 year old Emily who has an older brother with “high functioning” autism. Autism is explained while also exploring Emily’s feelings. An uplifting story, suitable for upper primary to young teens.

Future Horizons Inc 2001.


Dolphins Dance

By Jutta Goetze

Provides insights into a young girl’s struggles to understand her brother with autism, and leads the reader to a better understanding of autism. A heart-warming read for upper primary to young teens.

Black Dog Books 2000/2001.


Ian’s Walk: A Story about Autism

By Laurie Lears

When Ian wanders off on his own, his sister must try to view the world through his eyes in order to find him. For lower to middle primary age, a warmly told story expressively illustrated.

Albert Whitman & Co 1998.


All About My Brother: an Eight-year-old Sister’s Introduction to Her Brother Who Has Autism

By Sarah Peralto

Sarah’s younger brother has autism and is non-verbal; an entertaining and thought provoking book for siblings and classmates of a child with autism.

AAPC 2002.


Little Rainman 

By Karen Simmons

Written by a mother, but in the first person as if she were the child. Unique illustrations accompany the child’s voice as he explains the different ways he thinks, sees, hears, and feels. This book is great for reading to children with or without autism to encourage acceptance and understanding. 

Future Horizons Inc 1996.


Andy and his Yellow Frisbee

By Mary Thompson

Andy has a fascination with objects in motion. Rosie, the protective sister, provides background on Andy and autism, as well as a sibling’s perspective. A short story introducing autism to primary school age.

Woodbine House 1996.


Captain Tommy

By Abby Ward Messner

Tommy goes to ‘space camp’ and meets a boy who seems to be different to other children. Aimed at primary school grades 1 – 4, with colourful illustrations and an easy read story showing Tommy’s difficulties and eventual success.

Future Horizons Inc 1996.


*Trevor, Trevor

By Diane Twachtman-Cullen

Relates how Trevor, a boy with autism is misunderstood, but ultimately acclaimed. Message of the story is conveyed indirectly in a powerful way. A beautifully illustrated book for children aged about 7-13.

Star Fish Press 1998.*


Asparagus Dreams

By Jessica Peers

Recalling her school life with humour and insight, 12 year old Jessica’s account will highlight the difficulties and rewards of having Asperger Syndrome.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2003.


Blue Bottle Mystery – An Asperger Adventure

By Kathy Hoopman

A warm, fun-filled fantasy story—the hero is Ben, a boy with Asperger Syndrome. The portrayal of Ben as the central character offers other children with ASD and their peers a positive role model.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2001.


Lisa and the Lacemaker – An Asperger Adventure

By Kathy Hoopman

An old lady draws Lisa into the art of lace making and through the criss-crossing of threads, Lisa is helped to understand her own Asperger Syndrome. An adventure story for all ages, providing insights into the thoughts and experiences of a girl with Asperger Syndrome.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2002.


Buster and the Amazing Daisy – Adventures with Asperger Syndrome

By Nancy Ogaz

An exciting story about a girl with Asperger Syndrome—will Daisy be able to gather her courage and amazing talents to save her friend? Suitable for all ages, families and teachers.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2002.


Wishing on the Midnight Star – My Asperger Brother

By Nancy Ogaz

Presents the joys and frustrations of having a younger brother with Asperger Syndrome. An engaging and amusing teen love story that will appeal to children of all ages.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2003.


Can I tell you about Asperger Syndrome? A guide for friends, family and professionals

By Jude Welton

Adam invites young readers to learn about AS from his perspective. He tells them what AS is, what it feels like to have AS, leading to an understanding of their differences and an appreciation of their many talents. This illustrated book is suited to children 7 – 15 years and a good starting point for family and classroom discussion.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2003.


Brotherly Feelings: Me my Emotions, and My Brother with Asperger’s Syndrome

By Sam Frender, Robin Schiffmiller and Dennis Ditrich

This book explores the emotions commonly experienced by siblings of children with Asperger’s Syndrome. With illustrations throughout, this book will help siblings to understand that their emotional responses are natural and OK.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2007.


A Book About What Autism Can Be Like

By Sue Adams

Two boys, who are good friends, can help children understand what autism can be like—and how others can help by understanding how they are different and recognising their many unique talents. This book is targeted at children aged 5+ and also serves as a starting point for family and classroom discussion.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2008.


My Autism Book: A Child’s Guide to their Autistic Spectrum Diagnosis

By Gloria Dura-Vila and Tamar Levi

A beautifully illustrated picture book to help parents explain an autism diagnosis to their child in a sensitive, positive and accurate way. A summary checklist at the end is to encourage the child to record and discuss how autism affects them.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2013.


Can I tell you about Autism? A guide for friends, family and professionals

By Jude Welton

Tom invites readers to learn about autism from his perspective, helping them to understand what it is and explaining the challenges he faces. This beautifully illustrated book is ideally suited for readers aged 7 upwards. It includes clear, useful information for parents and professionals.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2014.


Conversation Train: A visual approach to conversation for children on the autism spectrum

By Joel Shaul

This inventive picture book uses the metaphor of a train to teach basic conventions of conversation to children with autism. Locomotives are like greetings; they get the train going. When a conversation veers off-topic it is like a derailed train. The book, suited to children aged 5 -13, includes attractive colour photos of trains, blank worksheets and colouring pages.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2014.


Tomas Loves…a rhyming book about fun, friendship – and autism

By Jude Welton

Tomas loves trains, trampolines and his dog Flynn. He hates sudden noises, surprises and changes in routine. He loves fun and friendship, just like you! This beautifully illustrated book is a perfect introduction to autism for children aged 2 and over, including children with autism, friends and siblings.

Jessica Kingsley Publishers 2015.


To buy any of the books:

Contact: ACER Bookshop, 3 Richardson Street, West Perth 6005
Phone: (08) 9235 4800.

Tell them where you heard about the title and receive 10% discount. If the book is not in stock ACER will be able to order for you (pending availability from the publisher).

Or, shop online: www.footprintbooks.com.au for Jessica Kingsley publications.

ACTIV Library is likely to have some of the books listed.
Phone: (08) 9387 0555

*N.B. Trevor, Trevor by Diane Twachtman-Cullen is out of print, but it appears a number of copies are available from:

www.amazon.com  or   www.abebooks.com

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